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Mayor's Office Heading City Letter Head

April 13, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Beth Briney, 436-1780 or
Susan Larson Rodenburg, 441-7237 or
Mary Kay Roth, 436-1609 or

Fugitive Frog Hops to Folsom Children’s Zoo Opener

LINCOLN-Under the careful eyes of its captors, one of the two limestone frogs whose dream it is to live in Lincoln’s Sunken Gardens will make an appearance at the Folsom Children’s Zoo, 1222 S. 27th Street, on Opening Day, Tuesday, April 15, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., according to John Chapo, Zoo Director.

“This is a chance for everyone to see how beautiful these frogs are, and to realize how wonderful it would be if they could actually make their home at the Sunken Gardens,” Chapo said. Mayor Don Wesely is scheduled to make an appearance to proclaim April as “Free the Frogs” Month for the City of Lincoln. To celebrate the opening day festivities, visitors can enjoy pop and pizza for just a buck.

Originally from Manchester, England, the two 500-pound limestone frogs were tired of being cooped up there all of their lives. They recently decided that they wanted to see the rest of the world, so they hitch-hopped to the coast and swam across the ocean, ending up on the east coast of the United States. But they were found and captured in Chicago and will not be set free until the $5,000 ransom is paid.

This fictional story is the basis for the "Free the Frogs" campaign, a joint effort between the Lincoln Public School Focus Science Program “Zoo School” and the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation. Beth Briney’s Oral Communications Class designed the activity, which invites LPS elementary and middle school students to raise $5,000 to "Free the Frogs" and place the sculptures as public art in the Sunken Gardens.

The following schools are participating: Lefler, Rousseau, Sheridan, Clinton, Fredstrom, Kahoa, Norwood Park, and the Yankee Hill Behavioral Skills Program. All LPS middle school and elementary teachers and/or schools may still join the effort. Name the Frogs and Penny Challenge contests hope to encourage teachers and schools to participate.

The campaign runs from March 31-May 10. If all goes well, the frogs will be “released” in the Sunken Gardens in mid-May at a news conference.

“Free the Frogs” is a Ventures in Partnership activity between the LPS Science Focus Program “Zoo School” and the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation, Lincoln Journal-Star and Froggy 98. Ventures in Partnerships is cooperatively sponsored by the Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln Education Association and the Lincoln business community.

For more information about the “Free the Frogs” effort, contact: Beth Briney (English teacher for the LPS Science Focus “Zoo School”) at 436-1780 or, Susan Larson Rodenburg at 421-1401, 440-3227 or or Mary Kay Roth at 436-1609 or

For more information about the Opening Day at the Folsom Children’s Zoo, contact: John Chapo, 475-1631 (Zoo), 416-4261 (cell) and 435-3718 (home) or

Check out the Free the Frogs web site: for more info! Or check out for more information about the Folsom Children’s Zoo!

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